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  • Steps to getting hired without experience

    I am currently finishing up EMT-B in Indiana and I was interested in making firefighting a career. I will have the qualification for EMT like I said but no firefighting experience or classifications any suggestions. I am also prior military, so I thought that might possibly help me out. Wasn't sure of academies or schooling I should take before applying for jobs which seem scarce in Indiana.

  • #2
    There are people that get hired all of the time without even their EMT. It is just harder. You need to be able to convince an oral board you are a good choice. One of the things that most chiefs are looking for, in my opinion, is prior military experience. Nothing, other than having done the job before, will help you fit into a para-military organization better that having been in the military. I know, without have even met you, that you will not have to do push-ups in our academy because you messed up. You will be coming to a department with a level of maturity that we are looking for.

    As far as advise, I would look to get experience as an EMT and look for a way to cover some fire stuff, either classes or as a volunteer, something in that area to put on your resume. I would also suggest taking the tests you are qualified for, if it takes the average person 5-10 tests to get hired it can only help to start getting yourself familiar with the process as soon as possible. If you present yourself properly I don’t think it will take you that long to get a job offer.

    Good Luck, Capt Rob
    [email protected]
    www.myfireinterview.com
    (707)869-1330
    Good Luck, Capt Rob
    www.myfireinterview.com

    Comment


    • #3
      I think with you having prior military, getting a job should be no problem.
      Georgia Firefighter

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by firedrum
        I am currently finishing up EMT-B in Indiana and I was interested in making firefighting a career. I will have the qualification for EMT like I said but no firefighting experience or classifications any suggestions. I am also prior military, so I thought that might possibly help me out. Wasn't sure of academies or schooling I should take before applying for jobs which seem scarce in Indiana.
        It is pretty simple:
        Look at the Departments you would like to work for, find out when they are hireing, take thier tests, do your best, hope you did better than the other guys taking the test, interview, be honest, get hired, go to academy, become a fireman.
        Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
        -Big Russ

        Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

        Originally posted by nyckftbl
        LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

        Comment


        • #5
          While people do get hired with limited experience, many fire candidates fail out of the academy when they finally do get hired. It is important to understand that the failure rate for a fire department academy (different than a junior college fire academy) is up to 40%.

          Fire Chiefs do not want to hire people who will not make it through their training program. Since this is the case, most often the person hired is someone with prior training. If you are learning the parts of a ladder and the proper technique to throw it for the first time in a fire department academy you are going to be two steps behind the person who has already mastered the skill from a basic fire academy or volunteer firefighter position.

          Let me give you an example:
          You recently completed your EMT. I expect you did it in a semester long course which met twice each week for three hours at a time. You went home and studied and became proficient with your skills and book knowledge.

          Imagine taking EMT in a three week condensed course for 8 hours each day. Every morning you have a major quiz on what you learned the previous day. That’s what we do in our fire department academy. Understanding this now you can see why we hire people who have prior EMT training. Do people get hired who do not have EMT training? Yes, absolutely. Imagine how well they have to sell themselves during an interview to make me believe they are going to make it.

          Multiply this equation by 100 and now you have an understanding for the feeling about hiring a candidate with NO formal fire academy training. Why should we take a chance (remember the failure rate is up to 40%) when there are hundreds of candidates from which to choose.

          Your military experience will absolutely help ONCE YOU ARE HIRED. It does not help you learn how to pull hose, learn the parts of a ladder, or memorize all of the bones in the human body.

          Your best template is to enroll in fire science courses, stay physically fit, get yourself through a basic fire academy, and LEARN HOW TO TAKE A FIRE DEPARTMENT INTERVIEW.

          Good luck,

          Paul Lepore
          Battalion Chief
          www.aspiringfirefighters.com
          Last edited by BCLepore; 08-25-2006, 08:58 PM.
          Paul Lepore
          Battalion Chief
          www.aspiringfirefighters.com

          Comment


          • #6
            There are two kinds of people in this world, those who lift you up and tell you that you can do it, and those who tell people they can’t.

            FIREDRUM, please do not let the above post affect your confidence that you can get a job with what you have now. Over the last two years I have coached at least 40 people that had been in the service and had little else. EVERY ONE OF THEM WAS HIRED. In fact I cannot recall a person like that I have worked with that wasn’t hired immediately after I worked with them. Trust me on this, I don’t hear back from all of the people I have coached that got hired, but while there aren't many, I have heard back from every one that had a problem.

            Presented properly, service in our armed services all but puts you in the lead for a fire job. Along with getting veterans points, there are so many things to mention. Almost every person in the service has a government security clearance, meaning you are certified as an honest person. If you traveled to a foreign country you must have received training in how to be culturally sensitive. Most people receive a small amount of firefighting training in basic as well as emergency first aid. Also mentioning other special training you received helps.

            I had a person I coached about 18 months ago call me after taking L.A. city’s test. They have it set up where they fill a room with those taking the oral interview. They take them out one at a time and then have them go back into the room and wait until everyone is done. When they did this they came into the room and this guy’s name was the only one they called. He said he thought that he must be the only one that failed and they were just getting him out of the room. They told him that not only was he the only one that passed out of the 40, but he was the only 100% they had given out all week. He was 19 and only had his EMT.

            As far as up to 40% failing out of an academy goes, if you are running an academy that has that high of a failure rate, that is a problem with your academy or instructors. We have hired about 60 people since we switched from only taking laterals and only one person has been let go and that was for cheating. I took a mentoring class and the speaker made the comment that if you had people struggling in an academy and the others in the class didn’t go out of their way to help them out, you should fire the whole group. We are continuously surprised, at my department, at the very high caliber of people that join us.

            Not having an academy could also be used as a plus. By not having any other training or knowledge you will only know how to do it their way. If they don't recuire F/F1 then they will give it to you after you are hired. Some people we hire with years of experience have a hard time not getting confused between the new and old way. Don’t let this confuse you into thinking it’s best not to get into an academy, but until you do it is a good way to present it.

            The only part of the above post I agree with is to get good at taking the tests, and most tests are 100% oral interview. So your best bet is to learn to take an interview from someone that knows, and then take every test you can, the more you test the better you get and the more options you will have.

            Good Luck, Capt Rob
            [email protected]
            (707)869-1330
            www.myfireinterview.com
            Last edited by FFighterRob; 08-26-2006, 12:33 PM.
            Good Luck, Capt Rob
            www.myfireinterview.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Can you imagine a Navy Seal Medic who couldn’t get hired?

              Yep, that’s right. This super qualified candidate couldn’t get hired. Why? He couldn’t pass the oral high enough to get called back.

              The cornerstone of what we do is to convince candidates to lace their oral board answers with personal life experiences. This alone will separate you from the other candidates. Because no one can tell your story. No one.

              I coached this Navy Seal. Like many candidates he was stuck in the process. He had a lot of clone garbage. At one point he held up one of those books from one of the so called "Experts" with all the answers and said, "Should I still use the answers out of this book?" I told him, "Not if he wanted to get hired." On one of his answers I stopped him. OK, now tell me a personal story that can relate to this answer? The story he starts with we throw out. The second story too. No, no, not the clone stuff. Tell me your personalized story that no one else can tell. The light went on.

              He regrouped. Then he started telling the story of being in Afghanistan. He took me on the journey with him. The hairs on my arms and neck stood up. It was exciting, emotional. He relived it. I said, oh, my god. That’s it. Rick said, you mean I can use that? Please do. It delivers the point in answering this oral board question. It will convince the panel you not only know the answer, you have lived it!

              At the end of the coaching session he had a new killer presentation. All his own stuff. Not a clone of everyone else. We didn't give him anything he didn't already have. He was just shown where it was.

              I told him if you’re not hired on your next interview you will be picked up soon by someone else. His next interview was the following week. I told Rick they’re going to be ****ing all over themselves now trying to hired you before someone else does.

              On Tuesday at 4:30 pm the phone rings. It’s Rick. You were right. I got the call.

              What got him hired? Not packing on more certs. He already had what it took. He just needed the necessary oral board skills.

              You can read more of Ricks story here: http://www.eatstress.com/cantgethired.htm
              _____________________________________________

              "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

              More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
              http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


              Fire "Captain Bob"

              www.eatstress.com

              Comment


              • #8
                I think it’s really cute the way the two of you tag team and play off of each other.

                Rob,
                You need to get out a little more often. If you are unaware of a high failure rate in fire department academies you are even more sheltered than I originally thought. Venture to either major department near you (Oakland or San Francisco) and you might be surprised.

                The difference between how I prepare students and how you do it is very simple. I actually sit on oral and promotional boards. In the last eight months I have been on the following panels:
                Battalion Chief – Tactical
                Battalion Chief – Oral interview
                Captain – Oral interview
                Captain - Tactical
                Chief’s interview – entry level

                The information I share is current and factual. Neither of you (Rob or Bob) has had anything to do with entry-level or promotional testing in the last 5 years (per an earlier post form Rob).

                Be careful with the stones you throw. It’s all about credibility.
                Paul Lepore
                Battalion Chief
                www.aspiringfirefighters.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  You want to know the steps?

                  There is only 1: Kiss ***
                  The Box. You opened it. We Came...

                  "You'll take my life but I'll take your's too. You'll fire musket but I'll run you through. So when your waiting for the next attack, you'll better understand there's no turn back."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would hate for someone to adjust his or her future plans based on poor advice. While I may not sit on oral boards I hear back from just about every person I coach. They call me after they have the interview; after they find out they have passed, with questions about the chief’s interview, and then worried about the background and psyc. Interview. They tell me what questions were asked in both entry and chief’s interviews. I get emails inviting me to their graduations.

                    I just looked at my emails starting at the first of the year. Most people will call, but I was able to count 82 emails from people thanking me for helping them get hired since 01/01/06. That was in 32 different states, 3 in Canada, and one in Australia. If I don’t know what is going on in the hiring process it must just be a gift from God.


                    While I do get calls from people that I didn’t coach, but want help after they haven’t passed an academy, everyone I’ve talked to had a problem with their attitude, not skills.

                    While you make the allegation of rock throwing, I would like to point out that I didn’t say anything about you or your skills, just your poor advise. I posted something encouraging and uplifting and you came in AFTER ME, to say the exact opposite and tell a guy he didn’t have a good chance. Now with my knowledge that that is not the case, I have lots of people that have been hired first test out with the same credentials, what kind of a person would I be to let him and all of the others that read this think it was the truth. If Capt Bob recognizes poor advise and wants to jump in that is to his credit.

                    You make the comment that I should get out more and sight Oakland as your example. Well if you knew anything about Oakland and their hiring process you would know why they were letting people go. About 8 years ago they change their hiring to get people with NO experience and lived in town. It was such a disaster that they switched back to a normal interview this goes around.

                    This person is testing in Indiana, how many orals have you sat on there. I have helped three people hired there this year. If it does come down to credibility I would say it is more important to help a person get a job, than to sit on orals in my area of the county and tell people two thousand miles away they don’t have a chance.

                    When you talk about washing out 40% of people of an academy there is a problem. If I was a principle of a school and I had a teacher failing 40% of her students, I wouldn’t say the students lacked experience. I would say there was something wrong with the teacher or the curriculum. Unless these departments are hiring idiots, they are taking people that have a desire and a dream to be a firefighter and instead of helping them they throwing them out on their ears and possible prevent them from ever getting their dream job. I have helped a few of these people get hired elsewhere and amazingly enough they have no problem as a firefighter. That is if they can get the job. Having been let go or forced to resign is the biggest hurdle you could have going into an interview.

                    It surprises me that I put down facts to back up my points and you make personal attacks about my credibility. I just this week got emails from two people I worked with that got jobs and had nothing in fire or EMS area, one was 19 hired in Seattle, the other just turned twenty-one and was hired with phoenix.
                    Good Luck, Capt Rob
                    www.myfireinterview.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sort of a change of subject...has anyone else heard the "rumor" surrounding Contra Costa County FPD going to "B" band for this current round of hiring? It's the only written I've never passed (I missed "A" band by less than .7 points)...and ironically that department is the main reason I entered the fire service. Anyways, any feedback would be great.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Rob wrote:

                        "Well if you knew anything about Oakland and their hiring process you would know why they were letting people go."

                        Thank you for illustrating my point.

                        Rob wrote:
                        "I would like to point out that I didn’t say anything about you or your skills, just your poor advise. "

                        You keep writing from the sidelines from what people tell you.

                        Daddy will log in soon to back up his son.

                        You're up bob
                        Paul Lepore
                        Battalion Chief
                        www.aspiringfirefighters.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          How sad that this guy's thread has deteriorated into a petty "I give better advice on getting hired than you do!" argument by competing entities that CHARGE for their services (follow the links in their posts, it's pretty blatant advertising). Quite frankly NONE of you are exhibiting much professionalism. You ought to be ashamed, and should take your garbage elsewhere.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            NorCalSJK, We are having interviews soon from band “A” I have heard we may take up to 50, I don’t know if that would be in one or two classes. But if we did it would still leave a lot of people in band A. It isn’t out of the realm of possibilities, but I wouldn’t hold you breath.

                            Chauffer6 you have some valid points. While I do charge people I also help a lot of people in other ways, by posting here and elsewhere as well as over the phone. I will answer any question emailed to me, and talk to anyone at length that calls me. I only charge people who do an actual coaching session. I was in the process of posting something similar to what you have said when I read your post.

                            While I’m not going to let poor advice stand unanswered, I am not going to continue to respond to any more accusations and arguments. My original post stands as is, anyone who sets the heart on getting hired, can, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
                            Good Luck, Capt Rob
                            www.myfireinterview.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Im going to do Wildland Fire to gain experience then cross over to a city DEPT. Do you think this is a good move? i figure it would be good to go out and get some experience before i go bigtime! I am also a Marine and realize that Prior Mil can only get you so far. Just wanted to make sure this was a good move?

                              Comment

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